Tech of the week: Campag goes 12-speed, Sagan gets magnetic sunnies and Cycling Weekly has a new look

New wheels and an extra gear from the Italian brand, 28mm Pirelli tubs and more

12-speed gruppos from Campag

This week, Campagnolo has become the first manufacturer to offer 12 speeds, with the launch of its new Super Record and Record groupsets. The good news is that the extra sprocket will fit on your 11-speed wheels. We put the new groupset to the test at the launch on Gran Canaria.

An extra gear in the box from Campagnolo

And Campagnolo has also released a new set of tubeless ready Bora WTO wheels. They come in 60mm and 77mm depths for ultimate aero. WTO stands for Wind Tunnel Optimised, not World Trade Organisation, apparently.

We’ve had a look at the tech behind Peter Sagan’s 100% Speedcraft Air sunglasses too. These have magnets built into the nosepiece that can be controlled to help improve airflow through the nasal passages. We’ve also had a look at their lens tech.

Sagan’s sunnies explained

It’s one of the more unusual ways to improve your performance on the cobbles, although it clearly worked OK for Sagan. We’ve had a look at ten ways the pros modify their bikes for the cobbles too.

Pirelli’s tyres are in the news again, with the company to supply its new P Zero Velo 28mm tubular tyres to the Aqua Blue Sport pro team. The wider tyres make use of the aero characteristics of the team’s 3T Strada aero bike.

A new look to CW, women’s shorts and beginner advice

Meanwhile, Cycling Weekly has a new look from this week. Take a look next time you pass a news stand or renew your subscription.

A new look for Cycling Weekly

With the relaunch issue covering aero, we’ve a video telling you why you need an aero bike. We’ve also picked out the best women’s cycling shorts, going through the pros and cons of each, with each scoring 9/10 in our group test.

If you’re thinking of buying a bike, or have just splashed out, we’ve also had tips and advice for the novice cyclist. Plus, once you come back from your ride, we’ve told you how to clean your new machine in just seven minutes and how to lube it. And with most cyclists loving their Strava, we’ve given you nine things you wished you’d known before you signed up.

One of many things that Strava lets you do

And we’ve had some great deals on clothing for warmer weather and on cycling shoes as well as £450 off an Ultegra equipped Ribble.

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New Allroad clothing and lightweight two-bolt shoes from Mavic

Allroad Pro shoes use an innovative lightweight woven upper for a weight comparable to a road shoe

Launched alongside its new Allroad wheels, Mavic has developed a new Allroad clothing range designed for a more casual and gnarly look for the gravel rider and to cope with wet and muddy conditions.

The star of the range is the new Allroad Pro lace-up shoe. It’s made from woven polyamide-kevlar, which Mavic says is five times more abrasion resistant than a standard synthetic upper and ten times more than knitted fabric. It also has water repellency built in, rather than being treated after the shoe is made up.

Allroad Pro shoes use an innovative woven fabric upper. Photo: Jeremie Reuiller

Its upper is woven in a single piece so that key areas are stiff for good power transfer, whereas others are more yielding for comfort. The heel surround is flexible to hug the foot and reduce muck ingress. Mavic says that there’s around 3% stretch in the fibres and they include woven-in reflective yarns.

Off-road shoes are typically heavier than road shoes, as they have a chunkier sole, with built-in tread. But Mavic quotes a weight of 560g for a pair of size 8.5 shoes, similar to many high-end road shoes. The sole unit is made of a carbon fibre composite, with a rigidity rating of 80 on Mavic’s own scale.

Mavic has an exclusive licence to use the French-made Matryx fabric for the next three years. Availability of the Allroad Pro shoes is from this September and they will be priced at £225.

Allroad clothing range

Alongside the shoes, there’s a comprehensive range of Allroad clothing.

The Allroad Insulated Vest (£140) looks particularly smart. It’s reversible from grey to orange, with a Pertex shell, Primaloft insulation and DWR treatment. There’s a single pocket on the orange side, into which the gilet folds for storage. It was very popular at Mavic’s launch in the Pyrenean foothills.

Allroad clothing range includes warm and cool weather gear. Photo: Jeremie Reuiller

The short sleeved Allroad jersey (£130) has a merino mix bottom half and a synthetic top half. It comes with a polo-style collar to emphasise its off-bike credentials and a front zipped pocket as well as three open and a fourth zipped rear pockets. It comes in grey or blue and, like the rest of the clothing range, has small orange reflectives on the hem and sleeve.

Mavic also offers a merino mix thermal long sleeved jersey, priced at £169. It’s chunky and warm, with a brushed lining and high collar with press stud fastening, so that you can unzip for ventilation without letting too much air in around your neck. There’s a single zipped rear pocket and a breast pocket.

To complete the non-roadie look, Mavic sells a pair of semi-fitted shorts (£105). Designed to be worn over bibshorts, they are stretchy and unpadded with two front and one rear pockets, as well as a zipped thigh pocket. They are DWR treated for water repellence.

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Santa Clara Aquamaids Take Top Honors at U.S. 13-15 National Championships

The Santa Clara Aquamaids swept the top awards Sunday as the U.S. Junior and 13-15 National Championships came to a close at the Westside Aquatics Center.

Santa Clara was the high point team in the junior and 13-15 divisions, and the Aquamaids’ Nicole Dzurko (junior) and Claire Kim (13-15) were the high point individuals.

In addition, Santa Clara’s Sonya Van der Velden was named Junior Coach of the Year, and Heather Carrasco was named 13-15 Coach of the Year.

U.S. Junior National Championships

Santa Clara finished with 98 points at the championships to take high point honors. ANA Synchro was second with 54 points, and the Cincinnati YMCA Synchrogators and La Mirade Aquabelles tied for third with 42. The points are based on solo, duet, team and combo finals results.

Dzurko was the high point individual with 71 points, and teammate Camryn Carrasco was second with 65. La Mirada’s Noelle Song and Cincinnati’s Rose Homoelle tied for third with 42.

On Sunday, Santa Clara won the team final, scoring 150.265 points. Walnut Creek took silver at 146.574, and ANA Synchro (Andover, Mass.) won bronze at 140.968.

In the duet final, Santa Clara’s Dzurko and Hailee Heinrich topped the podium with 148.3807 points, while teammates Carrasco and Audrey Nguyen were second at 144.8860. Christina Wu and Aivan Nguyen of the La Mirada Aquabelles finished third at 143.4366.

U.S. 13-15 National Championships

Santa Clara was the high point team with 133 points, followed by the New Canaan Y Aquianas (56) and the Walnut Creek Aquanuts (48).

Santa Clara’s Kim totaled 81 points to claim high point individual, and teammates Chiara Steele (77) and Marilyn Weaver (69) finished second and third.

The Aquamaids also won the team final on Sunday, scoring 142.892 points. Walnut Creek (139.922) finished second and the La Mirada Aquabelles (137.438) was third.

The final phase of trials for the U.S. 13-15 National Team was also held Sunday. That team and the U.S. 12 & Under National Team, which held trials earlier in the week, will be announced at a later date.

— This information is a press release from USA Synchro

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Duncan Scott Named Scotland Flag Bearer For Commonwealth Games Closing Ceremony

20-year-old Duncan Scott of Scotland was selected by Scottish team management to be the flag bearer for the Closing Ceremony at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

He had the biggest medal haul by a male swimmer at the Games last week in Australia. Scott picked up six total medals, including a gold in the 100 free to upset Australian Olympic Champion Kyle Chalmers swimming in front of the pro-Aussie crowd.

Scott also won a silver in the 200 IM and a bronze in the 200 free and 200 fly. He picked up two bronzes in the free relays for Team Scotland. He was Scotland’s most decorated athlete at any Commonwealth Games.

Scott joins the likes of swimmers Gregor Tait (2006) and Alison Sheppard (2002) as flag bearers for Scotland at the Closing Ceremony.

Speaking about his selection, Duncan said: “To be flag bearer is a complete honour. It’s something we speak about as swimmers, and I’m just immensely proud. It’s not something that many people get the chance to do, it’s only a select few, two people per Games. To be selected for that is an absolute honour. It’s the most medals we’ve ever won at an overseas Games so to lead the team out to close it is just incredible.

“I’m delighted with how I’ve performed up against the best in the world. It’s been great to show just how much quality we have in Scottish Swimming. We had so many amazing performances, including some that haven’t been shown on the medal table. To be named flag bearer and to represent swimming and Team Scotland is really special.”

Team Scotland contributed to this report.

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ASU Snags Early Verbal Commit From National Junior Teamer Lindsay Looney

Photo Courtesy: Lindsay Looney (Twitter ) @Looney_LJ

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NEW COMMIT: The Arizona State Sun Devils have secured a verbal commitment from high school junior, and USA Swimming National Junior Teamer, Lindsay Looney.

Looney will head to Tempe in the fall of 2019 from Denison, Texas where she is a junior at Denison High School and swims for Metroplex Aquatics. She is a USA Swimming Scholastic All-American as well as a NISCA All-American. At the high school level Looney set the 5A record in the 100 butterfly, posting her lifetime best time.

Looney’s top times include:

  • 200 fly 1:57.87
  • 100 Fly 54.40
  • 200 Free 1:48.43
  • 100 Free 50.81
  • 400 IM 4:16.98
  • 200 IM 2:00.54

Looney will arrive a year after Ruby Martin, who will be a member of the Class of 2022. Both girls have been more successful in long course than short course in the 200 fly, posting times sub 2:10, and Martin leads the way in short course. The duo should be great training partners for three years.

Looney shared on Twitter,

“Incredibly excited to announce my verbal commitment to swim and pursue my academic career at Arizona State University!!! I’m thrilled for the opportunity to be a part of @sundevilswimdive”

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RBC Heritage: Ian Poulter fades on last day as Satoshi Kodaira wins

Ian Poulter

RBC Heritage final leaderboard
-12 S Kodaira (Jap), K Si-woo (Kor); -11 B DeChambeau (US), L List (US); -10 B Horschel (US), W Simpson (US); -9 B-Hun An (Kor), P Cantlay (US), B Haas (US), C Hadley (US), K Kisner (US), I Poulter (Eng), K Streelman (US)
Selected others: -8 M Fitzpatrick (Eng); -5 M Laird (Sco); -4 R Knox (Sco); E G McDowell (NI)
Full leaderboard

Japan’s Satoshi Kodaira birdied the third play-off hole to win the RBC Heritage in South Carolina as England’s Ian Poulter faded on the final day.

Poulter held a one-shot lead going into Sunday but five bogeys on the back nine led to a final-round 75.

Kodaira shot a five-under-par 66 to force a play-off against South Korea’s Kim Si-woo, and both players parred the 18th hole.

However, Kodaira went on to claim his first US PGA Tour victory.

Poulter had hopes of winning his second title of the month after his victory at the Houston Open, but he could not hold onto his lead at the end of his sixth consecutive week of playing.

The 42-year-old was one stroke behind Kim after the ninth hole, but he ultimately finished five over par.

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Five talking points from the 2018 Amstel Gold Race

What got us talking after the first Ardennes Classic

Michael Valgren wins an unusual double

Michael Valgren wins the 2018 Amstel Gold Race (Sunada)

You don’t usually expect the same riders to compete for victory in both the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and the Amstel Gold Race. Let alone the fact that they are very different in character, with the former a cobbled Classic and the latter a hilly Classic favouring puncheurs, it takes a rare rider that can maintain their form from the first race in late February to today’s race in mid-April.

However, Michael Valgren (Astana) has now managed to win both this season, becoming the first rider since 1973 when (who else?) Eddy Merckx pulled off this unusual double.

It’s testament to a trend this spring of riders competing in a variety of different types of Classics.

Among the start list today were many other riders who, like Valgren, had also competed in many cobbled Classics this spring, including Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe), Greg Van Avermaet (BMC), Sep Vanmarcke (EF Education First), Philippe Gilbert (Quick-Step Floors) and Michael Matthews (Sunweb).

What set Valgren apart was the fact that he actually managed to win. Having confirmed his potential with that win at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad in February, and impressed again with fourth at the Tour of Flanders, today’s result further catapults the 26-year old Dane as one of the most impressive all-rounders in the peloton this season, and one of its new stars.

The new route continues to look like a success

The peloton at the 2018 Amstel Gold Race (Sunada)

Some may still pine for the days that the Cauberg would almost indefinitely decide the outcome of Amstel Gold, but today’s race again exemplified the virtues of the new route.

Like last year’s edition – which was the first to remove the final ascent of the Cauberg – the key moves were all made much earlier, allowing for a more prolonged contest for the win rather than one explosive battle up that climb.

It still had an important part to play, with the many fans lined-up on the roadside treated to attacks from Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors), Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) and Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) that formed the first exclusive selections.

But it was the tactical intrigue that followed that really made the race. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) attacked 13km from the line, bringing just five other riders (Peter Sagan, Julian Alaphilippe, Tim Wellens, Michael Valgren, and his Astana team-mate Jakob Fuglsang) with him up to the leading six-man breakaway group.

From this point on it wasn’t so much about who was the strongest as who was the cleverest, as the dozen riders (which became eight after the final climb of the Bemelerberg) played games with each other.

Ultimately it was Astana, using their numerical advantage, who proved the smartest, with Valgren going up the road just over 2km from the finish with Roman Kreuziger (Mitchelton-Scott), while the more fancied names made the mistake of marking each other.

Sagan finds himself in familiar, frustrating position

Peter Sagan beats Alejandro Valverde into fourth place at the 2018 Amstel Gold Race (Sunada)

When the key selections were made and Peter Sagan remained in contention, you could sense the fear among the other favourites.

The world champion was evidently on a great day, and nobody wanted to reach the finishing straight with him on their wheel.

Every time an attack was made the others looked for Sagan to mark it, and whenever Sagan himself made a move he was swiftly mark in the blink of an eye.

The group worked better together when first formed, especially between Sagan and Valverde. Due to their varying itineraries, it’s rare to see these two stars compete in the same race, and the sight of the two pulling together at the front of the lead group prior to the final climb was enough to get the heart pounding.

But that initial cohesion broke down towards the finish, with Valverde failing to chase, and an evidently frustrated Sagan allowing Valgren and Kreuziger to open up a fatal gap while the others continued to look on passively.

Sagan won the sprint for fourth place, suggesting he would have won the race had the attackers not been allowed to succeed, completing another irksome afternoon for the Slovak.

The Ardennes contenders emerge

Julian Alaphilippe attacks on the Cauberg at the 2018 Amstel Gold Race (Sunada)

As mentioned above, many of the key players from the cobbled Classics were again present today, but most (with the honourable exceptions of Michael Valgren and Peter Sagan) were clearly fatigued from their efforts earlier this spring.

The likes of Philippe Gilbert (Quick-Step Floors) and Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) might otherwise have been contenders today, but both missed the selections made, while the more rested Ardennes specialists who will likely also be the ones to watch at Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège emerged.

Alejandro Valverde looked his usual imperious self, and must go into both those races – which he has traditionally performed much better in than Amstel Gold – as favourite.

Two places behind him in seventh was Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors), another pre-race favourite who looks in good enough shape to win his first Ardennes Classic; and Tim Wellens (Lotto-Soudal) built upon his victory at Brabantse Pijl last Wednesday to achieve his highest ever finish in the race (sixth), suggesting he too will be a contender in the upcoming races.

However, it was yet another underwhelming spring Classic for Team Sky. Michał Kwiatkowski has been building his season towards the Ardennes Classics, but didn’t have the legs when the crucial selections were made in today’s finale.

The Pole tends to blow hot and cold, often following a poor performance with a superb one in a matter of days, or vice versa. Sky will be desperate for a similarly quick turn around this week.

Boels-Dolmans can win whatever the circumstances

Chantal Blaak wins the 2018 Amstel Gold Race (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)

The second edition of the reinstated women’s Amstel Gold played out very differently to last year’s race, but both ended up with a winner from the all-conquering Boels-Dolmans team.

The race threw up the rare scenario of a break forming with 55km still to ride in which all of the major teams were represented, meaning there was never enough impetus among the riders in the bunch to bring them back.

Given how their leader and emphatic pre-race favourite Anna van der Breggen was left in the bunch, you might have thought this situation would not have been ideal for Boels-Dolmans.

But in Chantal Blaak the team had the strongest rider in the break, and the world champion confidently managed every attempted attack, before breaking away with Lucinda Brand (Sunweb) and Amanda Spratt (Mitchelton-Scott) on the Cauberg and out-sprinting them both at the finish.

The win is Blaak’s biggest in the rainbow stripes and the team’s fourth out of the seven WorldTour races completed so far this season, underlying just how much they continue to dominate women’s cycling.

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Alon Mandel Swimming Cook Strait to Raise Parkinson’s Disease Awareness

Photo Courtesy: Eric Bronson

By Brad Rudner.

Though he’s no longer a competitive swimmer, Michigan alum Alon Mandel (2007-10) is still seeking out challenges. His next one is the biggest yet.

Next week, Mandel will fly halfway around the world to New Zealand where he will attempt to swim the Cook Strait, a 14-mile stretch of open water separating the north and south islands. He’s doing it to raise awareness for Parkinson’s Disease and has set up a 501(c)3 GoFundMe with the proceeds going for Parkinson’s Research.

“In the three years it took to finish my master’s thesis, I got exposed to the difficulties of living with Parkinson’s Disease through a really close friend of mine,” Mandel said via phone on Thursday. “This isn’t about how much money I’m raising. It’s about the intent.”

“People who come from cultures like Michigan’s have the energy and ability to change the world, their own world, even if it’s small. The feeling I had of representing the block M all those years ago, I wanted that again, only this time, it’s representing an idea.”

Mandel was a four-time All-American in his four years at Michigan and represented Israel at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. After graduating, he served three years in the Israeli army and graduated with master’s degrees in environmental engineering and political sciences from Tel Aviv University.

Today, Mandel is a facilities engineer with Noble Midstream where he is responsible for two cryogenic gas plants in northeastern Colorado. He lives in Denver with his wife, Tal.

Mandel competing in open water swimming

Though he retired from competitive swimming in 2013, Mandel joined the Denver Athletic Club and stayed with the sport via Masters Swimming. At the 2015 U.S. Masters Spring National Championships, Mandel won gold medals in the 50-yard backstroke, 100-yard backstroke, 50-yard butterfly, 100-yard butterfly and 100-yard IM in the men’s 25-29 age group, in addition to setting multiple Colorado state age group records.

A sprinter in college, Mandel’s first foray into open water swimming came in 2015 when he swam across the Strait of Gibraltar, a nearly 11-mile gap between Spain and Morocco. That swim took four hours to complete.

Mandel estimates it’ll take between five and nine hours to swim the Cook Strait in 60-degree water. By comparison, when Sean Ryan swam the open water 10K at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, he completed the race in just under two hours.

Once he committed to the swim six months ago, Mandel started visiting a physical trainer once-a-week. He also swims an hour three-to-four times a week, most of them coming in the evening after work. When he started back up, his goal was to swim 10,000 meters per week, about a quarter of what he used competitively at Michigan.

“In training, there’s this thought that you have to swim so much to do so much,” he said. “I was mostly training my shoulders, to see if I could survive 40,000 reps. I didn’t care how long or how fast. I just wanted to see how I felt.”

But the training for a long and grueling swim is as much mental as it is physical.

“It’s very different than being in a pool,” he said. “You have to teach yourself how to not swallow salt water by mistake, and how to adapt to the water temperature and wave movement. I’m relying a lot on my background as a swimmer to shift gears. When the current is on your side, you’re in first or second gear. But when you swim against it, you have to go into fourth or fifth gear.”

There are a few unknowns. Because of the ever-changing conditions (water temperature, currents), Mandel doesn’t have a set date to swim, only that it’ll be completed by the end of April. He also doesn’t know if he’s swimming from the north island to the south island, or vice versa.

All he knows is that he’s going to do it alone, with only two boats following him for safety. The challenge — and the impact the swim can have on both himself and others — is motivation enough.

“Whether I’m successful in completing the swim or not, it doesn’t matter,” Mandel said. “I’m trying to create awareness for Parkinson’s Disease by doing this swim, and I believe I’ll be successful in that.”

— This story was contributed by The University of Michigan.

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Chris Froome confident of seeing improvement in form in final Giro d’Italia warm-up race

Team Sky rider lines up for final Giro warm-up event at Tour of the Alps this week

Chris Froome may not have finished higher than seventh in any event this year, but that doesn’t mean that the four-time Tour de France winner is low on confidence ahead of his final warm-up race before the Giro d’Italia.

The 32-year-old has endured a difficult start to the season as he approached the Giro d’Italia with the ongoing salbutamol case hanging over him, finishing 10th in the Ruta del Sol and a distant 34th at Tirreno-Adriatico.

Froome will take to the start line of the Tour of the Alps in Arco on Monday at the head of a strong Team Sky line-up, but says that managing to win the Tour de France last year having not won a race in the six months beforehand has given him confidence to trust his form whatever the race results may say.

>>> Chris Froome confirmed for final Giro build-up at the Tour of the Alps

“I’m confident that I’m where I need to be at the moment, like I was last year with the goals of the Tour and the Vuelta,” Froome said on Sunday.

“Winning big before events always gives you confidence and it’s great for morale, but it’s not a prerequisite, it’s not the be all and end all.

“I’m not here to send signals or anything like that. I’d be really happy if I could see a progression from when I last raced in Tirreno-Adriatico. That would make me very happy.”

Watch: Giro d’Italia route guide 2018

The five stages of the Tour of the Alps present the toughest parcours of any stage race in 2018 to date, with five days of racing packing in more than 13,000m of climbing.

Stage two on Tuesday is the race’s only bona fide summit finish (although stage one’s finish is just six kilometres from the top of a second-category climb), but there are big climbs on every stage including a final stage that features three ascents of the 7.9km climb that will feature prominently in the 2018 Road World Championships.

With these difficulties in mind, Froome says that he is expect a difficult week of racing, and that the race will not only be a test for his own form but could also give an indication of the riders that Team Sky could select to support him at the Giro d’Italia in May.

>>> Five stages, 13,000m of climbing: The 2018 Tour of the Alps route looks absolutely savage

However he also hopes that he will be able to avoid the fates of team-mates Richie Porte, Mikel Landa, and Geraint Thomas who won this race in 2015, 2016, and 2017 respectively before falling short at the Giro.

“I’m really looking forward to the week ahead,” Froome continued. “Quite a few riders have come back from a good block of training at altitude, so it will be interesting to see where my rivals are in terms of their condition. It’s also a great race for the team and for us to narrow down the selection of the squad for the Giro d’Italia.

“Given the region where this race is being held it’s extremely tough parcours, we’ve got a lot of climbing everyday. Even though the stages are quite short it’s still a very difficult challenge.

“It’s been amazing for the team to win this race for the last three years, even if my team-mates have gone on to the Giro and things haven’t gone quite as well. But hopefully there’s no connection there between winning Tour of the Alps and bad luck at the Giro.”

The Tour of the Alps runs from Arco in Italy to Innsbruck in Austria over five days between April 16 and April 20.

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